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Murder On The Menu: The 1st Nikki Hunter…
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Murder On The Menu: The 1st Nikki Hunter Mystery (Nikki Hunter Mysteries)…

by Nancy Skopin

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This is a good PI mystery with a strong female lead. I appreciate that Nikki doesn't turn to mush around good looking men, doesn't weep and whine over her lack of a love interest, and doesn't need a man to rescue her. She's strong and independent, but still feminine.

We go along with Nikki as she investigates her first homicide, and the author does a great job of showing us how a PI really works. At the same time, though, the story often gets mired down in these details. For instance, we learn that Nikki is adept at taking in everything about a person upon meeting. This becomes tedious, as Nikki goes on to list the attire and appearance of every single person she comes in contact with. Once we've established this fact about Nikki, we don't need to go through the list with every person she sees.

The repetition of detail was exacerbated by repeating the very same information. Twice we're told Nikki's best friend Elizabeth's height, weight, hair color, and eye color. And twice we're told the details of Nikki's work for restaurant owners. We're also given several pages of detail on five dogs living with their owners at the marina where Nikki lives. I love dogs, but I did not need to know each one's breed, owners' names, play habits, likes, and dislikes.

The pacing, because of the volume of minutiae, is slow, particularly through the first half of the book. That being said, the plot is intriguing and I enjoyed going along with Nikki as she investigated.

I thought the ending was a little too convenient. We have a Q&A session in dialogue form with the killer, used as a way of wrapping up all the loose ends for readers. The conversation didn't feel realistic to me, particularly given the situation and setting. The Q&A took away from the immediacy and danger of what should have been a climactic scene.

The whodunit aspect is handled well. Nicki is investigating a murder, but we aren't given a lot of gruesome detail and we're not weighed down with misery. While this isn't quite a cozy mystery, the story does have that light, quirky feel. ( )
  Darcia | Mar 26, 2017 |
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